SB 6416 Concerning relatives in dependency proceedings
The Alexis Stuth Bill passed out 48-0 (with one excused) and has been transmitted to the House of Representatives.
The bill needs to pass out of the House and be delivered to governor. Your support will be needed again. This time in the House hearing. Thank you to everyone in getting it this far. Of note, Denise Revels-Robinson testified in favor of the bill. And, Alexis became one of Washington's youngest to be addressed by the chair, Senator Jim Hargrove (second on the bill).
If passed into law a relative will be able to file a petition to be heard on the issue of removal of a dependent child from their care. The relative has ten business days from the date of removal, or when the relative learns of the removal, whichever is later, to file the petition. The relative may call and cross examine witnesses at the hearing on the petition. The relatives ability to file a petition to be heard does not grant them party status in the underlying dependency. When a parent requests that his or her child be placed with a relative, there is a presumption that such placement is in the child's best interest. (The best interest placement was SB 6417 which was amended into SB 6416.)